Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tyrwhitt, Robert (d.1428)
TYRWHITT or TIRWHIT, Sir ROBERT (d. 1428), judge, was the son of Sir William Tyrwhitt of Kettleby, Lincolnshire, by his wife, the daughter and heiress of John Grovall of Harpswell (Tyrwhitt, Notices and Mem. of the Family of Tyrwhitt, pp. 7–14; Genealogist, v. 45). He was brought up to the law, and is mentioned as an advocate in the reign of Richard II. On 9 Oct. 1398 he was one of those who were given power of attorney by Henry, earl of Derby (afterwards Henry IV), on his banishment (Rymer, Fœdera, viii. 49), and he was also a member of the council of the duchy of Lancaster (Wylie, ii. 189). On Henry's accession in 1399 Tyrwhitt was promoted to be king's serjeant, and in 1403 was required to lend the king a hundred pounds to enable him to resist the Welsh and Scots rebels (Nicolas, Acts P. C. i. 203). In April 1408 (not, as Foss says, 1409) he was made a judge of the king's bench and knighted. From January 1409–10 until his death he acted as trier of petitions in parliament. In 1411 a dispute broke out between Tyrwhitt and the tenants of William, lord de Ros, about a right of pasture at Melton Ross, near Wrawby, Lincolnshire. It was agreed to submit the quarrel to the arbitration of Sir William Gascoigne [q. v.] at Melton Ross; but on the day appointed Tyrwhitt, in spite of his judicial position, appeared at the head of five hundred armed men, denied that he had ever agreed to arbitrate, and drove off Lord de Ros's adherents. Tyrwhitt was subsequently required to submit himself to the king's decision, which was that he was publicly to apologise to De Ros, and to provide two fat oxen, two tuns of Gascon wine, and twelve fat sheep for consumption by De Ros's tenants (Rot. Parl. iii. 649 et sqq.; Fortescue, Governance of England, p. 22; Tyrwhitt, pp. 8–13; Wylie, History of Henry IV, iv. 190). Tyrwhitt nevertheless retained his position on the bench until his death on 6 Jan. 1427–8. He was buried in the chancel of Bigby church.
By his wife Alice, daughter of Sir Roger Kelke of Kelke, Yorkshire, Tyrwhitt had issue two sons: Sir William, who fought at Agincourt, 25 Oct. 1415, was thirty years old at his father's death, and succeeded to the Kettleby property; and John (d. 1432), who succeeded to his grandmother's estates at Harpswell. Tyrwhitt's descendants frequently acted as knights of the shire and sheriffs of Lincolnshire. One of them, Sir Robert, was attached to the household of Princess (afterwards Queen) Elizabeth, his wife being her governess (Haynes, Burghley State Papers, passim). His great-grandson, Sir Philip (d. 1624), was created a baronet of the original creation on 29 June 1611; the dignity became extinct on the death of the sixth baronet in 1760.[R. P. Tyrwhitt's Some Notices and Remains of the Family of Tyrwhitt, 1872; Rotuli Parl. iii. 623, 649–9, iv. 4, 16, 35, 63, 73, 93, 107, 170, 198, 261, 296, 363; Rymer's Fœdera, viii. 49, 584, 754, 763; Nicolas's Acts of the Privy Council, i. 203, iii. 283; Dugdale's Orig. Jurid.; Foss's Lives of the Judges; Wylie's Henry IV; Baker's Northamptonshire, i. 114; Burke's Ext. Baronets.]